Under Kenya’s devolved system of government, county health departments are responsible for developing Annual Work Plans (AWP) which set out health sector priorities, targets, programmes and activities for the coming year. This is a complex task which requires County Health Management Teams (CHMTs) and Sub County Health Management Teams (SCHMTs) to work with multiple stakeholders to assemble data, analyse the root causes of major health issues, prioritise health challenges, identify appropriate responses, and allocate resources across service delivery and health systems investment areas.
The Annual Work Plan scoring tool was developed in 2017 by the Support to the Health Sector Programme in cooperation with the county health departments in Kisumu, Kwale, Siaya and Vihiga counties. The AWP scoring tool strengthens the planning capacity of CHMTs/SCHMTs by allowing them to:
The scoring tool is structured as a matrix in which the AWP process and the plan itself are broken down into 26 components. At a two-day scoring meeting, led by a trained facilitator, members of the CHMT and SCHMTs, as well as the heads of high-volume facilities, come together to review, debate and assign scores to each of these components. The scores are then presented and validated in a plenary session. Afterwards, participants develop an action plan with specific tasks for improving the next AWP.
A specially-designed guidance note – How to Assess and Score Annual Work Plans in the Health Sector – provides simple, step-by-step instructions for planning, carrying out and acting upon the results of an AWP scoring meeting. The guidance note was developed for CHMTs/SCHMTs which would like to assess the quality of their AWPs, and for development partners interested in supporting interventions at the intersection of health and good governance.
Counties which have used the AWP scoring tool have uniformly praised the approach, noting that it has deepened their understanding of the AWP requirements and improved the quality of their planning processes. When conducted annually, the scores generated through this self-assessment can be used to track improvements in the AWP process over time.